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What? So What? Now What? Printable Reflection Tool for ECE Professionals

Jun 01, 2023    |   Printables for Educators

Taking time out to reflect on our curriculum, think about how things are going, and find opportunities for improvement is a great way to strengthen our practice as ECE professionals.

One model for reflection is the “What? So What? Now What?” approach. This three-step model, which was developed originally for nursing and clinical settings, has become very popular in ECE settings because of its simplicity, user-friendliness, and impact.

Here’s a brief summary of the 3-step reflection process:

  • What? This is an objective question that asks you to describe what you saw, what you were doing, what you heard, etc.

  • So What? This is an interpretive question that asks about what you are learning about the child, what was going through your mind, and why it is significant.

  • Now What? This is a planning question that asks, where will you go next and how this observation might inform your practice.

This free printable sheet, which is from British Dietetic Association, describes each step of the reflective process in a diagram. Although its original intent was for use in clinical settings, the model is also very helpful for ECE programs to use in curriculum planning. The printable includes easy and clear steps, along with thoughtful questions for using this tool with the children in your care.

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